January 20, 2011, San Luis Obispo, Calif., Piper PA-28-235


The airplane sustained substantial damage during a forced landing at about 1317 Pacific time. The solo private pilot was not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot later reported noticing the vacuum pump had failed while on approach. Soon, ATC asked him to slow the airplane for traffic. The pilot reduced power to about 2000 rpm to comply but, shortly thereafter, advanced the throttle without response. The pilot realized the engine had lost power and he would not be able to make the airport, so he initiated a forced landing to an adjacent field. During the forced landing, the airplane impacted multiple metal poles. Examination revealed the left and right wings sustained structural damage. All four fuel tanks were breached; a fuel odor was present at the accident site.


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